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I have been reading here recently that Dp/DR is generally not a sort of "gateway symptom" or a stepping stone from a lesser pathology to a greater one. For instance there is little reason for people in general to believe that the symptoms of DP/DR and the associated anxiety and depression we may often feel are going to continue to escalate causing a psychotic break with "reality"anymore than an upset stomache indicates that one is on their way to developing stomache cancer.

I witness that that is the way it has been for me for almost forty years. DP/DR present themselves to me today just as they did when they first descended upon me. It was extremely intense for the first couple of years and then gradually let up. There developed a kind of familiarity to the often previously terrifying illusions and bizarre sensations and of course the emotional numbness and the most frightening of all for me the ideation of personal non existence.

I am not saying that I no longer find these symptoms scary at times, but only that that fear is tempered by long experience. As an example of what I mean I was walking up the hill toward my house today and I had the feeling of dismemberment as though my arms were lifeless appendages not really connected to my body they felt "unreal" I moved them around according to my "will" and they felt even more unreal. At one time in the past this would have been a horrifying feeling and maybe even set off a panic reaction, but I have experienced it so many times, uncountable times in fact, that I recognise it for what it is, simply a disconcerting symptom which is part of the DP condition, I know from experience that my arms are not really going to fall off. In the same way I know that when I have feelings and ideas that my head is only empty space during a conversation with someone,I realise my head is still there, it only feels non existent, and that this illusion will also past as it always has, again, uncountable times in the past.

The worst that has ever happened in my experience in relation to these feelings of DP/DR has been severe anxiety and sometimes feelings of panic. True, sometimes DP/DR gets me down and i feel depressed thinking about how things could have been for my life without this condition. The inability to access the "juice of life" i.e. the sense of having an existence rich in relationship and the free flow of feelings is probably the thing I hate most about this condition.

In forty years of DP/DR the symptoms have always expressed themselves in the same manner, I have not begun to hear voices or have delusions of persecution nor have I become hysterical and ran down the street screaming. So I guess you could say i have hope in my certainty that things are unlikely to get worse. I believe i have seen DP at its worse, I have seen it pretty much go away, and I have seen it return to me over and over again but it no longer carries the horrific affect that it once did and i hope that that might be cause for some of you to take heart and find hope in your struggles.

Sincerely
john
 

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There developed a kind of familiarity to the often previously terrifying illusions and bizarre sensations and of course the emotional numbness and the most frightening of all for me the ideation of personal non existence.
Good stuff. I've only had this thing for 13 years, but what you said about it letting up is so very true. It's almost like once you get "used" to it, then that's when it fades. So wierd. Yet, it can come back in the blink of an eye, years later, and with extreme force. It's such an odd anomaly this DPDR thing.
 

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Dear John,

Well this has me in tears. I can identify with it so well. I understand exactly what you're saying.

I simply can't believe this has been part of my life for so long, and that this may be here for the rest of my life.

Terribly sad this evening. But thank you.
Yup, I understand it too well.
I admire this sort of peace you've found, if that is the right word?

Best,
D
 

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Hi John

as a mere novice into my 30th year of this nonsense, I say that my dp/dr is the same as the day it started all those empty years ago but that I have sort of got used to it

if i didn't have children i don't think i would have any reason to stay alive any more

rob
 

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John thank you for taking the time to write this post. I also have suffered with dp/dr a long time and I have to say through sad eyes that it looks like I am going to be in this a long time. I have worked hard at trying to get better, I have picked myself up so many times when I have fallen. I consider myself to be a very strong minded person but I get so tired at times, tired of trying, tired of listening to ridicule, family memebers not understanding or being supportive. I try not to feel sorry for myself but you know I do at times, I cannot help it, this illness is a complete mystery and it is truly difficult to try and fix something that you do not understand. We are all doing our best to function the best way we know how, and one thing I am truly grateful for is to be able to come to this site and feel like someone in this world understands what we live. Thank you for being one of those who care.

gem.
 
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